Good news for the hungry tourists of Pompeii: Vetutius Placidus’ snack bar is reopening after extensive renovations. This being Italy, the work took almost 1900 years.
Three hundred specially invited guests are to taste the delights of Roman fast food in the thermopolium (that’s snack bar to you and me) in a special ceremony to mark the reopening of the joint, which has been closed to the general public for many years. Now after a long period of excavation and preservation, visitors will be able to once more taste the house specialty — baked cheese with lashings of honey.
The snack bar will re-open at an unveiling ceremony on 21 March 2010 and will re-open to the general public several weeks later. The thermopolia were a standard feature of life in Pompeii — and indeed around the Roman Empire. There were over one hundred and twenty in the town, before it was enveloped by about sixty feet of pumice and ash and were remarkably similar to our own fast food joints of today. With one exception — most of the food was delicious and healthy.